Archive for June 23rd, 2013

Child porn summit ended up a damp squib: Internet giants still refuse to install automatic filters


Here’s a review of the recent UK summit on child pornography attended by Google and Facebook, etc. Was it a success? That depends on who you ask. Some positive steps were taken, but as the critics have pointed out, so much more could have been done and needs to be done! What do you think?

[Daily Mail] — Britain’s internet giants have agreed to put extra money into the fight against sickening child abuse images – but are refusing to install automatic filters that would force users to ‘opt in’ to online pornography.

At a Westminster summit, the top four internet service providers pledged an additional £1million over four years to the Internet Watch Foundation, a charity which works to remove indecent images from the web.

Firms including BT, TalkTalk, Facebook and Google signed a ‘zero tolerance’ agreement on child abuse images at the summit, hailed by Culture Secretary Maria Miller as a triumph.

But critics said the agreement was toothless, and the summit had taken no real action on protecting children from stumbling across pornographic images.

Attendees at the summit – which despite apparently being a Number 10 priority was held while David Cameron was at the G8 summit – agreed to meet again in the autumn to discuss progress.

Web firms have come under scrutiny in recent months following the convictions of Mark Bridger and Stuart Hazell for the murders of five-year-old April Jones and 12-year- old Tia Sharp. Both men had visited child abuse sites before the attacks. Last night the parents of both children called for more action to tackle child porn.

The Daily Mail has campaigned for opt-in filters which would force computer users to indicate they wish to have access to pornography.

April’s mother, Coral Jones, said: ‘I just want it stopped and I think the Government should put more pressure and get it done now.’

Tia’s father, Steven Carter, said: ‘You’re fuelling the beast and it needs to be stopped – it should have been stopped a long time ago when these people were setting up companies.’

The companies which attended the summit in the Houses of Parliament were Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, BT, BSkyB, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Vodafone, O2, EE and Three.

The internet service providers (ISPs) signed up to a new approach, which will involve working more closely with the police to seek out and block images of child abuse.

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